18 December 2003
[MANUSCRIPT--SPANISH]. PHILIP V, King of Spain (1700-1746). Carta executoria de Hidalguia, in favour of Bernadino Francisco Aznar, in Spanish. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM. Zaragoza, 15 June 1717.
295 x 203 mm. 23 leaves (4 blank), TWO FULL-PAGE ILLUMINATIONS, including the grantee's arms and two leaves with elaborate ROCOCO BORDERS 21 lines written in black ink, names, headlines and 4 initials in liquid gold, in a multiple ruled brown in border. Contemporary Spanish sheepskin over paste-boards, two roll-tooled borders surrounding a central arabesque made up with hand-tools, corners of inner panel with fan-shaped ornament, brokatpapier endpapers, red silk guards (some rubbing and light wear).
This patent of nobility, by an unidentified author, certifies the noble lineage of Don Bernadino Francisco Aznar, Don Pedro Aznar, Don Felix Aznar and Don Joseph Ignacio Aznar, and traces the family line back to the 14th century. Heraldry began in Spain in the 11th century, as a means of distinguishing different knights and noblemen on the battlefield. Spanish nobility differed from many of its European counterparts in that membership was determined almost entirely on the performance of military service. Also, unlike many other countries, inheritance of noble titles could proceed down the female line. A poorly legible autograph notation at the end of the text is probably in the hand of the chronicler-heraldist.
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